The Auditor General has released a report on managing intellectual property within the federal government. It focuses on the National Research Council, Health Canada, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The report examines both internally produced intellectual property and external (consultant) IP. It finds numerous shortcomings, though it does […]
Archive for May 12th, 2009
The Business Software Alliance is out today with their annual report on global piracy in 2008. While the methodology raises serious questions – the BSA actually only surveys about 5,000 people in 24 countries and then extrapolates the data to 110 countries – the report shows declining numbers in many countries, though there is an overall increase due to very high rates in parts of the world. It also points to the growing importance of open source software, which the report says commands 15 percent of the market.
Piracy rates in Canada have been steadily declining in recent years – down to 32% in 2008 from 36% in 2004. Canada ranks among the 25 countries with the lowest piracy rates, ahead of many European countries including France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal (notwithstanding claims of CAAST). The 32% is lower than the European Union average, lower than any country in Africa, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East (tied with Israel), and lower than all but three Asian countries (Japan, Australia, and New Zealand). In fact, only five countries that have ratified the WIPO Internet treaties have software piracy rates lower than Canada. So much for Canada as a piracy haven and deserving of a place on the USTR Priority Watch List.
Beyond refuting many of the claims about Canadian piracy rates, the data is interesting since the BSA uses it to argue that implementing of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) is part of a blueprint for reducing software piracy. It says it is one of five key elements:
IP Watch reports that the French National Assembly has adopted HADOPI, the three-strikes and you're out legislation. The bill passed with 296 in favour and 233 against.
The Electronic Commerce Protection Act (Bill C-27) is headed for committee review following two days of rather strange debate in the House of Commons last Thursday and Friday. What was ensued was alternately predictable and bizarre. The predictable part was the all-party support for anti-spam legislation. MPs from all four parties talked about the need for anti-spam legislation, how it was long overdue, it is costly, it undermines confidence, etc.
The bizarre part was the discussion on the bill's implications for the do-not-call list. As I wrote soon after the bill was introduced, buried at the very end are provisions that kill the do-not-call list. Given the problems associated with the list, moving toward an opt-in approach (rather than DNCL's opt-out) could be a good thing. Yet the government seems determined to deny that the bill lays the groundwork to kill the list.